Did you know that the IGF-USA Internet Governance Forum USA 2011 was held In DC this week?
I spent most of Monday in the company of a group of people concerned about the future of the Internet, at the Internet Governance Forum USA 2011. This regional conference was held to consider several scenarios about the future of the Internet, in preparation for the international conference: IGF Kenya, September 27-30, 2011.
After an opening session, we adjourned to classrooms to consider the scenarios to help determine who should govern the Internet:
- Youth Rising and Reigning
- Regionalization of the Internet
- Government Prevails
I participated in Government Prevails. It was a scary scenario, full of disaster and mayhem, leading governments to seize control of their little bit of Internet, breaking down the global interconnectedness we take for granted today.
Thankfully, the Youth Rising and Reigning scenario had a more uplifting message, based on the Web and social media's role in the Arab Spring and other movements for personal dignity and democratic change.
Regionalization of the Internet considered bleak future similar to that of Government Prevails, with more countries blocking access as is the case in China; the rise of isolated islands due to security and perceived outside threats; and increased surveillance of citizenry with the coming of iPv6 as well as its tendency to make government-sponsored blockades harder to break.
During the afternoon sessions other key issues were discussed in small groups before the closing session:
- The changing landscape of the domain name system (DNS)
- A plethora of policy principles
- New Challenges to Critical Internet Resources
- Best Practices for Disaster Response
The IGF was established at the Tunis World Summit on Information Systems (WSIS):
Paragraph 72 of the Tunis World Summit on the Information (WSIS) Agenda reads: 72. We ask the UN Secretary-General, in an open and inclusive process, to convene, by the second quarter of 2006, a meeting of the new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue— called the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
Clearly, there is great need for the identified stakeholders (civil society, government, technologists, research scientists, industry and academia) to work together in the IGF. We citizens can participate through organizations like ISOC and IGF to make our voices heard.
My consciousness has been raised concerning the future of freedom on the Internet. If you would like learn more, check out and/or join the Internet Governance Forum USA. The home page includes links to session reports, videos and photos from all of the day's activities.